Sir: Your analysis of the horsemeat mislabelling scandal (meat & fish supplement, 27 April) highlights both the challenges and the opportunities for all concerned in the supply chain.
Provenance is now part of the consumer’s lexicon traceability is an obligatory product attribute primary producers have, as you point out, “a compelling argument” to entreat consumers to “buy British”. Retailers are putting additional emphasis on their sourcing policies, stressing the benefits of working in close partnership with farmers.
Converting the opportunity presented into a successful outcome will demand a fundamental reappraisal of supply chain relationships. It would be irresponsible to assume that consumers will revert in due course to previous habits. Recent events may instead be the tipping point for consumers to discriminate between the quest for cheap food and an appreciation of how traceability and provenance feature in the value-for-money equation. It may also be the time retailers assumed full responsibility for the integrity of all the products they sell.
Eblex will continue to work through the supply chain to help retailers source nearer to home to deliver the assurances consumers increasingly demand. At the heart of that work is the Eblex Quality Standard Mark scheme now, more than ever, the guarantor of traceability and provenance.
Laura Bishop, Eblex marketing manager (Quality Schemes)